The main news for October is that we now have a 4WD Polaris vehicle, which we are using to bring guests from the Sabyinyo car park up to the lodge! It can carry a maximum of 4 guests at a time and we have built a special road that begins a few steps up from the car park and ends at the bottom of the lawn in front of the main lodge building. The new vehicle is proving to be VERY popular, but those who would prefer to take on the walk up are of course still welcome to do so.
The Sabyinyo buggy – he’s yet to be named! Photo credit Michael Hughes
The rainy season has well and truly arrived here in Rwanda. Luckily though, it mostly rains in the late afternoon or during the night. While this makes the treks to see the gorillas a little more difficult, this is offset by the fact that the majority of the gorilla families have moved down into the bamboo zone, which grows along the lower slopes of the Volcanoes National Park.
Enjoying the new bamboo shoots – photo credit Dave Richards
At this time of the year, the bamboo is putting out new shoots and it is these that the gorillas love to eat. At times, the gorillas get quite excited when eating the bamboo shoots. Dare I say as usual, that our guests all return to the lodge full of exciting stories about their experience with the gorillas. In the evenings before dinner guests meet up in the lounge and it is interesting listening to all their different stories about their gorilla trekking experience. Everyone agrees that it is certainly a trip of a lifetime!
A powerful Silverback – photo credit Dave Richards
A number of our guests have also visited a habituated group of Golden Monkeys. Golden Monkeys are on the International Endangered Species List. They are only found in the Virunga Mountains and nowhere else and live in large troops of more than 100 individuals. The Golden Monkeys live almost entirely on bamboo leaves so the treks to see them are more often much shorter than gorilla treks. They are certainly well worth visiting and if you prefer, you are allowed to use the flash on your camera.
Golden Monkeys, Ceropitheus kandi – photo credit Dave Richards
One bonus of the rains is that we are experiencing some wonderful cloud formations particularly in the late afternoons. The 24th was a particular wet morning but as the clouds lifted on the volcanoes after lunch, we saw that the top of Karisimbe (4,507m) the highest of the volcanoes, was covered with snow!
Karisimbi’s peak covered in snow – photo credit Dave Richards
(L-R) Karisimbi, Bisoke, Mikeno – photo credit Dave Richards
Another very popular activity is to take a walk with a local guide, Jado, to the nearby village. At the village, it’s possible to visit a house and see how the local Rwandan people live. There is also a demonstration on cooking local food and how local beer is made. Guests often make a point of telling us how wonderful the village walk was. We highly recommend this activity.
Musanze’s colourful village market day – photo credit Dave Richards
By Dave Richards, Relief Manager for Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge.